Weather warnings, alerts issued for most of B.C.

Weather warnings, alerts issued for most of B.C.

Weather warnings for extreme cold were issued again on Tuesday for most of the province, which have caused travel disruptions and a spike in electricity demand.

Heavy widespread snow is expected starting Wednesday evening in Vancouver Island, Southern Gulf Islands, Sunshine Coast, Howe Sound, Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, according to a special weather statement from Environment Canada.

With temperatures well below seasonal, the cold snap has led to dangerous travel conditions.

B.C. Ferries canceled sailings between Tsawwassen and Duke Point on Tuesday due to freezing weather conditions, which caused frozen water pipes, washroom closures, and unsafe conditions on the vehicle deck.

The record-breaking low temperatures also broke a new record for electricity demand.

Between 5 and 6 p.m. on Monday, demand for electricity hit an all time high of 10,902 megawatts, beating the previous record of 10,577 megawatts set in 2020.

In a statement, Simi Heer, BC Hydro spokesperson Simi Heer said “The record represents a single moment in the hour when demand for electricity was the highest yesterday,” said BC Hydro spokesperson Simi Heer in a statement.

“Most of the increase is likely due to additional home heating required during this cold snap,” she continued.

But the early taste of winter on the Island is a welcome change for many and one many residents hope will last.

“Not used to the snow on the Island, really much. It’s always wonderful when we get a great snowfall and people can have the fun they want to have in the snow that happens once in awhile,” said Pierre Too-Tah DeGaulle Williams.

“It’s pretty awesome,” said Robbie Smith. “You don’t usually see much snow.”

“For me, in Victoria, when it snows, it feels like I’m somewhere else,” laughed Steven Murray.

Environment Canada said the Capital region can expect another chilly night on Tuesday with temperatures reaching the minus teens.

Conditions will continue to remain below seasonal through the rest of the week and about five to 10 centimetres of more snow is on the way in parts of the Island.

Tahmina AzizTahmina Aziz

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